Made from a Sainsbury's carrier bag

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


I absolutely detest Halloween and have decided to celebrate Diwali instead.  I have just been reading the story of Rama and Sita, and it reminds me a llittle bit of our own George and the Dragon.  I have often found that different cultures have so many things in common. Let's celebrate the similarities and ignore the differences. Why not read the story to your children and then make a Diya with them... Plenty of sites on the web will show you how.

The Story of Diwali

Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita.
There was also a terrible demon king, Ravana. He had twenty arms and ten heads, and was feared throughout the land. He wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day he kidnapped her and took her away in his chariot. Clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow.
Rama followed the trail of glittering jewellery until he met the monkey king, Hanuman, who became his friend and agreed to help find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys in the world, and through them to all the bears, who set out to find Sita.
After a very long search, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama's army of monkeys and bears couldn't reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon all the animals of the world, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle.
When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and everybody lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back.
Ever since, people light lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.

George and the Dragon.. do you know the story?

Saint George is the patron saint of England – and we celebrate Saint George’s Day every year on 23 April. Although Saint George is associated with England, bravery and honour, the real Saint George wasn’t English at all! He was, in fact, born in Turkey in the 3rd Century, but not very much is known about him. The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. However, this story only became popular in the 12th Century – long after Saint George had died. In the Middle Ages, it was common to use dragons in stories to represent the Devil. 


Saint George travelled to Libya. When he arrived there he found it had a large pond, almost as big as a lake, where a ferocious dragon lived. The dragon was terrorising the country and, every day, the people had been feeding the dragon a sheep to appease it. When the sheep had all gone, the dragon had demanded that the people sacrifice a young maiden to him each day. Saint George found that all the young girls had now been killed and only the King of Egypt’s daughter was left. Unless a knight could be found to slay the dragon, the princess would be sacrificed the next day. The King of Egypt had promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to the knight who could overcome the terrible dragon. Saint George was determined to save the princess, and the next day he rode out to the lake. When he arrived, he found the princess there, waiting to be fed to the dragon. Saint George sent her home to the palace and approached the dragon’s cave. When the dragon heard Saint George’s horse approaching, he came out of his cave and roared at him. The  dragon was huge and its roar sounded like thunder, but Saint George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, but the dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear simply broke into pieces. Saint George fell from his horse but did not give up. Instead, he rushed at the dragon and used his sword to slay it under its wing where there were no scales. The dragon fell dead at Saint George’s feet.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Lovely school in Stockton on Tees

I usually work in Middlesbrough schools but I took a booking from a Stockton on Tees school a while ago. Today was my first visit to the school and I really must say that it was my privilege to work in possibly the friendliest school that I have worked in.The staff and children without exception were lovely.  It is only a pity in todays climate that I don't take photo's of the work that the kids produce.  I hope they enjoyed working with me as much as I did with them. 

Monday, 3 October 2016

Upcycled pine bunk bed

The other day I told you that I would try my hand at carving a piece of Alexanders old wooden bed..... so I did... and this is how it turned out.  I will take both lovespoons to my carving club this evening and spend a couple of hours sanding them.  I aim to remove a lot of the little nicks out of the wood, but don't want to sand them too smooth as in my opinion that makes the wood look like plastic. I like my carving to retain a few bumps and nicks as it add character to the finished piece

The spoon on the left was a piece from Alexanders bed

does my bum look big :-)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

A little piece of wood

I decided a while ago that I would like to carve a love spoon but didn't see any that inspired me.  Then I saw a picture of this one and decided that I would give it a try.  I have no idea whether the original carver made the back the same as the front or whether he/she left it uncarved.  Mine is carved front and back and they have cheeky little bottoms too :-) It needs a bit of sanding and tweeking and then it will be finished

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

My upcycled tin lunchbox

Tony brought me an empty coffee tin this evening. I plan to use it as a lunch box.  You could use it for pretty much anything though as it is really robust.  I used some 'bag feet' to attach the heavy ribbon braid strap but I think paper fasteners would work just as well.

I attached the handle using two bag feet on each side for extra strength

There is plenty of room inside for my packed lunch

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Gift tags

I am in the process of dismantling Le Crafterie and creating a new indoor craft room. I have in my stash a whole load of Christmas cards so I spent a half hour cutting bits off them and making a pile of gift tags to add to little presents.